Greek manufacturing sector accelerates to a nine-year peak in August

Overall growth in the Greek manufacturing sector accelerated to a nine-year peak in August. Underpinning the latest improvement were increases in new orders from both domestic and foreign clients. Buoyed by rising demand, firms took on additional workers to the greatest extent since January 2000, while purchasing activity growth quickened to a nine-year high. In turn, enhanced operating capacity contributed to the joint-sharpest expansion in output in 40 months. Meanwhile, business confidence dipped, but remained among the most positive in the series history.

At 52.2 in August, up from 50.5 in July, the latest figure signalled the third successive improvement in Greek manufacturing sector conditions, and the sharpest since August 2008.

The latest round of manufacturing sector growth was underpinned by a solid rise in new business, the sharpest since May 2014. Furthermore, the rise in client demand was broad-based, with new export orders also increasing in August for the first time in 12 months.

To keep pace with rising client demand, firms took on additional staff members in August, thereby extending the current period of rising employment to four months. Moreover, the latest round of job creation was the most marked in over 17-and-a-half years. Enhanced operating capacity contributed to a further fall in outstanding business, albeit to a weaker extent than the series average.